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for The Wild

10/28/2015 c1 4lookingwest
For Oct WCC Win

I'll admit that when I started reading this the first time, I wasn't as into it - I think just because I was bored with the theme of the piece presented in the opening in regards to "oh yes, i know, the uncharted wilderness yadda yadda" - BUT I wish I'd kept going the first time. Because overall, I think you ended up turning that theme - which I feel has been done before - reflection on nature and all of that crap in terms of solitary sentimentalism - completely on its head when we get halfway through.

So thematically, this is awesome. I think the first time I started reading it I just wasn't wanting to engage with reading - which is completely my thing, not the story's. So in terms of openings, I think it's a good one overall because it works well with the "twist" aspect you have going on - where it's no longer what you think (sentimental about nature) and an actual horror story where the nature turns on the characters in a fun supernatural way (as opposed to, ohhhh the descriptive forces of nature! woe is humanity!) I know it's in the horror category, too - so it worked out well by the end.

In terms of voice - I was reluctant to get into it again, until the transition where we get the narrator talking about the wilderness taking over the hiker, and what happened to the narrator on their hike. I'm glad that there was some mention of the narrator having once been in the hiker's position because I think it brings some nice characterization to the table when this is a pretty minimalist short story. Enjoyed that we ended up knowing more about the narrator's story than the hiker's.

Ending was perfect, no criticisms there! I think you managed to land on a perfect "gotcha!" moment with the narrator and hiker's relationship. I loved the "chase" line. There were a few others writing-wise that stuck out to me too, as wonderful - especially "I came by the blood on my lips just so" - I really liked that line. Perfect story for Halloween, and a very deserved win! Thanks for the read!
10/27/2015 c1 5Dr. Self Destruct
Congrats on your WCC win, Lyra!

Technique: I think the use of second person is a really nice touch. That always seems to be the only thing that can creep me out about a story, when the second person pulls the reader (me) directly into the happenings. House of Leaves did it and almost gave me a panic attack, haha. But the use of it here instills more of a suspenseful than horror / scary feeling, which I'm going to assume was your intent since this is in suspense and not horror. So good job there! Just spooky enough to creep someone out and have the idea stick in their minds during their next hike through the woods, but not enough to actually make someone who doesn't like horror stop reading out of fear.

Character: The way you handle the characters is really interesting, too. Since you're using the second person and you've placed the "YOU" in the woods, it creates a strange paradox with the reader when we know we're actually sitting at home (or anywhere else people normally read stuff on the internet). Because of this, I feel like it asks the reader to participate in the story more, trying to place themselves directly into this forest in order to feel the suspense and eeriness to the fullest degree. It's a decision I feel won't work for everyone, but it will be more potent than a third-person narration to some people. I guess you'd call that taking a risk, haha. Either way, I'm interested as to how this might have read were it a third person story, and if my reaction would have been stronger. This isn't at all to say I think it should have been written differently - I like how the second-person makes it unique - but I'm still curious how it has affected my own personal experience.

Description: I think you provide just the right amount of description throughout the piece to help the reader place where they are but not feel like it's dragging or bogging down the pacing. Some of your lines are rather poetic, too, which is a nice touch. Your use of metaphor and personification add to the suspense, until it feels like the woods themselves are closing in.

Ending: I think the ending is my favorite part of the piece, which is a good thing because it's often the end punch that makes a story leave a lasting effect in the reader. Again, it does a great job pulling the reader into the story. While the "YOU" is being addressed throughout, it feels like it comes to a culminating climax here at the end, where the "YOU" is a lot more active and in the present. Sort of like, everything up to this point were only threats, and now is when the real fun starts. How it gets cut off at the beginning of the chase leaves a lot to interpretation, and I really like that. Adds another level of creepiness to it.
10/21/2015 c1 7Lie Ono
I like the opening. You hooked us in by basically insulting us, and the jokingly sarcastic tone makes this an enjoyable piece to read.
The ending was great as well. I would've liked to read on, but it ended at a good point. I could just imagine the character flying into an animalistic rage.
The technique is wonderful. It seems to be a conversation without any dialogue, and the use of second person in some parts is excellently executed. The word choice adds to the suspense, and that just makes me want to read to the end!
Overall, I enjoyed this piece greatly. The gripping suspense had me reading to the end... and then some. I was taking a walk in the woods when I just suddenly decided to turn around... Spooky.
Well done! Keep writing!
10/12/2015 c1 90Timbo Slice
Writing: I liked the style of this, as its very dark in its prose while reading in a light, almost conversational manner. The unconventional way of how it reads helps to move the writing sling at a sharp pace.

Setting: in this story the wild feels less like a physical place and more like a malignant sort of consciousness, which really gives it a unique sense of personification. There were some good descriptions thrown in as well, like the wild festering and light not being able to filter through the trees.

Characters: not really character per se, but as I mentioned I think you did a great job of giving the wild tangible qualities that reflects the unflinching efficiency of how nature works. We as humans must realize that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and when we step in her territory we are playing a dangerous game where we don't always come out the victor, and this story symbolizes that relationship pretty well.

Ending: I can't really say I enjoyed the ending as much as the rest of the story as I felt it ended somewhat on an abrupt note. It also feels ambiguous in nature, although I think I grasped the meaning behind it, how the wild afflicted the hiker with its power and is a part of him now.

Cool story!
10/11/2015 c1 5RG16
This is absolutely amazing! I liked how you wrote it in some sort of letter, or warning in this case. I partcularly loved the way you described nature, the wilderness of it all and that sort of primal instinct animals get... FANTASTIC!

I hope you win that contest!
10/9/2015 c1 19pastryninja
Well, this just gives me another reason not to go camping. The wild feels so alive here.
10/8/2015 c1 13alltheeagles
RG EF

I think you got the scary brief down, particularly if your reader is a urbanite tethered to a smart phone desperately searching for a wifi signal. I like how the narrator uses our tendency to stick to the winning side to graduallly seduce 'you' over to side with the wild by depicting the wild as being the stronger side, and by default putting the buddy into the losing camp. It isn't entirely clear whether the narrator is talking to 'you' directly, as in there's literally a person with blood on his/her lips talking to 'you' or whether it's a voice in 'you's head, and that bothers me somewhat. I'd be a little more direct about it, ie I might drop a line or two about 'you' seeing glimpses of the narrator, and trying to convince him/herself that it's just his/her imagination or something.
10/8/2015 c1 16Encore19
This was well done, congratulations! This contest is going to be a hard one... you really captured the fear and excitement with this piece.
10/8/2015 c1 82Solemn Coyote
Aces. Great horror, nuanced voice for your speaker, perfect end. I've got nothing to critique here. This is fantastic.

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